Scutellaria ovata Hill - Skullcap

Scutellaria ovata plant

Family - Lamiaceae

Stems - To +/-1m tall, erect, herbaceous, 4-angled, densely pubescent(both glandular and regular hairs), multiple or single from base. branching above, rhizomatous, stoloniferous.

Leaves - Opposite, petiolate, decussate. Petiole hirsute, to 5cm long, with adaxial groove. Blade ovate, 10cm long, +/-7cm broad, acute, stellate and simple pubescent on both surfaces but more dense below, cordate at base, serrate-dentate.

Scutellaria ovata leaf

Inflorescence - Terminal indeterminate racemes to 30cm long(tall). Flowers decussate, from axils of small bracts. Bracts acute, ovate, abruptly constricted to short(1.2mm) petiole, glandular pubescent, equaling or longer than calyx. Pedicels to 3mm long, densely glandular pubescent.

Flowers - Corolla bilabiate, to +/-2cm long, glandular pubescent externally, white near base, purplish-blue above. Upper lip galeate, notched at apex, 4mm long. Lower lip 3-lobed. Lateral lobes 3mm long. Central lobe 1cm broad, 7-8mm long, with whitish center, somewhat deflexed. Stamens 4, didynamous, included under the galea. Filaments joined near apex of corolla throat(seemingly by interwoven hairs), purple and glabrous at apex. Anthers pale yellow to white, 1mm long. Style 2.3cm long, white, glabrous, inserted between stamens. Ovary 4-lobed, attached at base to a short gynophore. Calyx bilabiate, 4-5mm long, with dorsal protuberance, glandular pubescent. Tube to +/-2mm in diameter. Lips equal. Nutlets brownish-black, ovoid, papillate.

Scutellaria ovata calyxCalyx and subtending bract.

Scutellaria ovata flowersCorollas.

Flowering - May - October.

Habitat - Rocky open woods, glades, rocky ledges, bluffs.

Origin - Native to U.S.

Other info. - This is a common and very striking plant in Missouri. The multiple terminal racemes each with many bluish flowers make this plant more than worthy of cultivation. The plant is easily grown from seed but also readily propagates by stolons. It grows well in dry shaded areas.
Steyermark breaks the species up into three varieties mostly based on leaf size but these varieties integrate and are hard to distinguish so I won't mention them here.

Photographs taken at Huckleberry Ridge Conservation Area, McDonald County, MO., 6-3-00.


Back